The main road in the park is the Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) between Gatlinburg and Cherokee. It is the only road across the mountains. Along it and at the Newfound Gap Parking Area you will get some of the best scenic high mountain vistas in the park and in our opinion some of the best mountain views of all the East Coast.
In southern Appalachian vernacular, a “gap” is a low point along a ridge or mountain range. The old road over the Smoky Mountains crossed at Indian Gap located about 1-1/2 miles west of the current site. When the lower, easier crossing was discovered, it became known as the “Newfound Gap.”
There are scenic overlooks along the way, roadside exhibits, and trailheads for the hikers. At Newfound Gap you can see for miles. The Appalachian Trail crosses the road here. There is also the memorial where Franklin D. Roosevelt stood to dedicate the national park in 1940.